The Evolution Of the Solar Cell

by:Longsun     2020-05-13
Photovoltaic cells, aka solar cells, are a piece of equipment in the form of a thin plate or wafer generally made of silica (glass) that readily converts light into electrical current by way of the photoelectric effect. This device was founded on the discovery a gentleman named Alexandre - Edmond Becquerel who figured out that a certain number of materials released electrons when hit by rays of light, causing an electrical current. The very first solar cells were assembled by a man named Charles Fritts sometime in the 1880s. These prototype cells made of selenium converted less than 1% of the total light into electricity. Two people; James Clerk Maxwell and Ernst Werner von Siemens, founder of the huge electronics and telecommunications company 'Siemens', realized the importance of the finding. After the work of Russell Ohl during the 1940s, Calvin Fuller, Gerald Pearson and Daryl Chapin made the first silicon based solar cell in 1954. There are currently several technologies, including at least 14 photovoltaic cell types, like polycrystalline, thin film, monocrystalline and amorphous cells. Concentrated Solar Power also appeared in various types. The earliest application of solar cells considered to be ground-breaking was using them as a back - up power source for the Vanguard satellite back in 1958. These solar cells kept on transmitting for more than a year after the chemical battery was completely depleted. This operation of using solar cells was considered to be a complete success and was used in several American and Soviet satellites. Utilizing solar power in this way had become the established power source by the late 1960s and continues to this day. After revising the feed-in tariffs for the Renewable Energy Sources Act, Germany has become the primary target worldwide. Then Spain became the biggest PV market after 2007 after it adopted the tariff structure of Germany. Spain installed half of the PVs all over the globe, accounting for about 45%. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) photovoltaics are still quite new, and employ sunlight concentrated onto photovoltaic surfaces using a type of mirror for electrical power production enhancement. Solar concentrators of different types can be used. These are usually mounted on a solar tracking system to keep the focal point on the module as the sun travels overhead. Tracking systems can boost the output of flat panel photovoltaic modules by 20% during the winter and as much as a whopping 50% during summer. Like wind, river current and ocean wave turbines, solar energy is considered a renewable resource. This means that this source will continue to be available into the far distant future, or until the Sun stops shinning. As we all should know by now, petroleum is used in so many more products in addition to being our primary source of fuel; and none of us know for sure when our planet will be depleted of its stores of petroleum. So wouldn't it be great to know that we will be totally armed and ready so to speak, with alternative energy sources to move the 'human' machine full steam ahead.
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